While the world has always been crazy about Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo, La Liga had witnessed a special brand of fluid football when Messi had Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Brazil’s Neymar beside him at Barcelona. The insane amount of goals scored by Barcelona then spurred people to fancy a Messi vs Neymar battle.
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Messi vs Neymar All-time goals
While Suarez has always been a highly-proven goal-scorer with some world-class goals to his name, it was Neymar who earned a reputation of being otherworldly. The man could surge past defenders almost at will with some scintillating footwork while taking the goalkeepers for a toss. He took the footballing world by storm at a time when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are ruling the circuit.
Messi has been a part of 948 matches that has seen him featuring in tournament of the highest order. Barca always was the home that Messi was looking for and each tournament that he was a part of for his team, he eyed a convincing. He excelled with each passing game as he scored 756 goals from 948 matches.
With every single match that Neymar has played, he has grown a lot more mature and the game has seen him playing for illustrious teams in Europe that has spanned from Barcelona to PSG. Neymar has so far starred in 556 matches and scored 335 goals.
Even though neither Messi nor Neymar has a World Cup winners medal to prove their might at the ultimate pedestal, the icons of South America have given a lot to football that has embossed them in golden letters in the history of any footballing league of the world.
Winning was always a habit for Lionel Messi at Barcelona and ever since his arrival at PSG, despite his act of play falling by a few notches, he has been a midfield genius to watch out. Winning games with superlative displays have been a long-standing habit for both the superstars and the fact that they never wanted to lose to anyone is a major driving factor for the two superstars, who have been running roughshod over in the club fabric of Europe.
Despite Neymar leaving Barcelona to come out of the shadow of Messi, he has failed to uplift any major cup in European football, barring the French league. While in Ligue 1, Neymar has scored goals and provided assists at will to win titles, it is in the UEFA Champions League that his scoring prowess is yet to get fruition, as compared to Messi.
UEFA Champions League goals
The UCL tournament has always brought out the best in the striking pair. Messi has managed to find the back of the net a staggering 123 times from 153 games while Neymar chose to savour a calm head with 41 goals from 73 matches in the grandest tournaments of all.
The biggest competition in Europe has seen these two wizards win games together that was unimaginable until a few years back. All the clubs that they have played in so far for has won domestic trophies.
Both the icons of the game have plied their services in different positions. In the hunt for a trophy, Messi has featured as a right-winger, a centre forward, an attacking midfield and even a left winger at times. Neymar has been a guy of equal versatility as he has lit up the football pitch by starring as a left-winger, centre forward as well as a right-winger.
Number of goals in club career
It isn’t just the numbers that have set these players apart from the rest. The Brazil and the Argentine players also enjoy a fandom that is beyond normal with fans willing to bet their life on them to win matches.
There is a lot of debate on who is the best player. Is it the man from Argentina or is it the wily midfielder from Brazil? The Argentine superstar has a fan-following all across the globe while Brazil is happy to see their best player return back to form and score.
Messi vs Neymar: Number of assists in club football
Both these stars, hailing from Argentina and Brazil, are more than prolific goalscorers. Their scintillating midfield game sees them leading the charge in stitching together assists that have seen their outfit play with panache and beat their opposition with ease. Every time Messi lines up for a free-kick, Argentina fans expect nothing less than a goal from his magical left foot. The Brazil national team, on the other hand, are confident of Neymar delivering them the World Cup.
Discipline is a crucial aspect of football, which not only assures players more game timer but also builds an image. And this is where the two legends of the game get separated. While Argentina has seen Messi getting booked a staggering 82 times, Messi’s former FC Barcelona teammates would attest to it that the left-footer has never cost them a game owing to disciplinary actions on the pitch. The same cannot be said about Neymar though, who has seen a whopping 118 yellow cards and 8 red cards.
Number of cards in club football
|Player||Matches||Yellow cards||Red cards|
With all said and done, one of the most imperative aspects of one’s playing career is his exploits in the international circuit. Messi recently triumphed in the Copa America that saw him almost single-handedly carrying the team on his own shoulders. Neymar’s exploits in the World Cup has always been laudable.
Messi managed to bag 80 goals from the 158 games that he has played for Argentina while Neymar’s heroics has seen him rack up a whopping 70 goals from 116 games. Copa America has been one common achievement for both the stars too. Even though Copa America eluded Messi for long, he finally managed to win it this year with the winning goal coming from Di Maria.
Number of goals in international career
Conclusion: Lionel Messi vs Neymar
Honestly, this duo shouldn’t be compared because Messi has been playing way ahead of Neymar. The proper comparison can only come in when the duo has played a similar number of games.
Messi is a God of the game and can only be rivalled by Cristiano Ronaldo but Neymar is still hot in pursuit of glory. No doubt that he is one of the most electrifying players that the world has seen but his tendency to fall for the theatrics is something that the world has never approved.
Both the players have been the brightest beacons for their individual teams as the current crop of players shared by the teams aren’t particularly legendary. There has been a massive fall from the grace for both teams. While Messi silently heads to his twilight, Neymar has at least 5 to 6 seasons comfortably tucked ahead of him.
As the numbers suggest, Messi is leading this contest by a proverbial mile while Neymar is gathering steam. However, the kind of controversy that the latter has racked up in his career laced with nasty injuries, that has been a major hindrance in Neymar’s career.
PSG has managed to rack up both and the duo is once again playing in phenomenal shades for the French stalwarts. Keeping the contrast aside, if we choose to savour the quality that the duo brings along with them, maybe we will be in for a treat instead of the heated exchanges that we are always up for.
With the FIFA World Cup coming up in less than a year, both the icons will be pivotal for their respective sides. Neymar will be a crucial aspect in the plans of Brazil while Messi will be leading the Argentine side into another rodeo before heading into the twilight once and for all.